With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Cape Cub – Fulford Arms, York Thursday 15th February 2018 February 19, 2018


York’s Fulford Arms is a quirky, eclectic, friendly and a bloody excellent venue. This show was another put together by Simon Pattinson of the rather fabulous Northern Radar. I have known Simon for quite a while now and up to now he has never let me down with any gig he has been involved with. But I guess there is always a first time. Will this be it? Well you had better read on to find out! First on stage was a young man with the clever stage name of Sundile. If you are a fan of chilled lo-fi sounds then Sundile is definitely the man for you. Whilst his Arctic Monkeys cover was good his own tunes are at times stunning. It was a shame that many people in the audience continued to talk among themselves during his set though, if that was you, then frankly you missed a good ‘un. I also felt that the sound was not at a great level for him, but I recommend checking him out.

Flooded, a York band were next, this is one powerhouse of a three-piece with what would seem to be a really eclectic taste in music. Not only are they purveyors of fine rock music with a nod to classic rock history from the 60s to now they also look like they are enjoying the hell out of what they do. I could hear the Small Faces, the Who, Oasis and Muse in there at times, but trust me this is a proper band, not a facsimile of others. The ‘About’ section on their FaceBook page says that they are ‘1 over-hyped drummer and 2 normal-ish boys from York’. Nathan Christy and Sam Curry are the two normal-ish boys, personally I reckon they veer more towards the ‘ish’ part of that. Both play bass, guitar and both of them sing too. Add the ‘over hyped’ drummer Max Mulrenan and you have a band that is a true force to be reckoned with. Mulrenan is a powerhouse of a drummer a slightly more in control Keith Moon. I will definitely be looking out for more shows by this lot!

Pura Vida are an immensely talented band with musicianship that is on a par with the best British bands. They are very hard to define from a genre perspective at times there are elements of indie blended with the softer side of prog and this seems to be underpinned by a punky attitude. Imagine, if you will, a band fronted by Johnny Marr and a less pompous Bono and backed by Echo and the Bunnymen with perhaps New Order and Joy Division producing. Can you hear that sound in your head? well that is the kind of sound that I heard. In Spanish Pura Vida means ‘pure life’ or ‘simple life’ and it is widely used in Costa Rica to describe a way of life. This band are pure rock and simply a great band. I will definitely be seeing them play live again sometime.

Headliner Cape Cub is the genius brainchild of Chad Male who hails from a small village, Marske-by-the-Sea, in north-east England. After forming Cape Cub in late 2014 his first big success came with “Swim” in 2015, he has been championed by Radio 1 and Radio X since then. He has also released some stunning music since his début. Including the staggeringly brilliant EPs from 2016; “Closer” and “6 a.m”. I am not yet too familiar with the songs but this was an awesome set, the band hit you with soft rolling sonic waves that mesmerize you as they build into small tsunamis of perfect sound. This is a band that to me sound like what Coldplay if Chris Martin’s boys were great and not just good. The sweep and depth of the songs and the emotion that they forge is incredible. The highest point of the set, and there were no low points,  for me was the new single “Come Around”. You still have a chance to catch the outstanding Cape Cub live on this tour; London – Thousand Island (22nd February), Sound – Liverpool (23rd February) and Newcastle Think Tank (24th February). If there are any tickets left for these shows then you need to buy, beg, steal, borrow or whatever other activities will get you one….. keep it legal though! Cape Cub are set to play an increasing role in British music in the coming years.

 

 

 

Avalanche Party – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 30th December 2017 December 31, 2017


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What could be more fitting for my last gig of 2017 than an evening in the presence of one of the finest British bands of their generation Avalanche Party. They get better every time I see them, so did they improve yet again? Well you will have to read on to discover that. This show was the 100th that has been put together by those lovely folk at Behind The White Door and in addition to Avalanche Party they booked some proper humdingers.

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It all kicked off with one of the best young bands in York, the Black Lagoons. This is the third time that I have seen them and so far they have never failed to impress me. The fashion influence on some of the band is very rockabilly style. But this is not who they are musically. There is a tiny bit of that genre, there is a hint of prog and there is definitely a psych vibe going on. Can I narrow that down to maybe Psychabilly? But labelling bands is ultimately futile isn’t it? Unless that label is along the lines of good or bad and the Black Lagoons are bloody good. Link Wray would be proud of the lead guitarist and the rhythm section is akin to the Who’s powerful engine room of Moon and Entwistle. I think the band could interact with the audience a bit more, but that is easily fixed. If you get the chance to see them, then take it!

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The audience gets a Nosebleed!

Next up were Nosebleed from Leeds who gave us a full on punky garage onslaught. This trio may well have taken their stage wear style from the Hives and they are just as entertaining. They milked their audience invasion opportunities really well and their sound came across like Steve Jones in his Sex Pistols days multi tracking. Stand too close to the speakers with this lot and you might well get a Nosebleed. They are a well oiled and rehearsed band that seemed to enjoy every moment of their time on stage (or in the audience)!

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The Snakerattlers are Naomi and Dan who are also the funky, punky people who run Behind The White Door. A hard rocking duo with a boy and girl in the line up might often be compared with the White Stripes, but don’t. They are so very different. Their fast paced punk styled songs smack you in the face until you submit to their Snakerattler charms. I would love to know how Naomi got so much noise from just two drums and a cymbal. Dan’s guitar skills are well honed and powerful. I must confess that I didn’t really like their first tune but the rest of their set was stunning. They have a new album coming out in 2018 and I can hardly wait to hear it. Feel free to send me a copy for review guys! 🙂

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So now for the headliners, Avalanche Party were they better than the last time I saw them, well of course they were. This is now the seventh time that I have seem them live. In fact there are only two acts that I have seen more often; David Bowie (10 times) and Frank Turner (11 times). The band kicked off with a barnstorming “I’m So Wet” and never let up until they blew the roof off with an explosive and bombastic “Solid Gold” to close their set. Other highlights were “Let’s Get Together” and a new song, “Heaven’s Creatures” given its first ever live outing. Jordan Bell is now without doubt a seasoned crowd surfer and this along with his invading the crowd with mic stand guitar just adds to the showmanship that this band have developed over the past few years. The Yorkshire Post named Avalanche Party’s set at the Kazoopa Festival in Leeds as their gig of the year and no wonder. The show tonight was full on pomp, spectacle and exactly what great rock n roll should be. If you haven’t seen this band yet then why not? I order you to see them in 2018 and if you don’t then I will need a note from your parents telling me why!

Public Service Announcement – all the pictures, apart from the gig poster, were taken by my mobile phone (hence the poor quality!). The videos are all found via YouTube.

 

 

Avalanche Party, Black Lagoons, Unqualified Nurse Band, Moriacana – Fulford Arms, York, Thursday 2nd March 2017 March 3, 2017


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This was another fantastic line up and a great night presented by Behind The White Door at one of York‘s best gig venues. Yes another power packed show at the Fulford Arms. It was remarkably a free entry gig, but like others I did contribute to the band collection and bought some merch too. It was also great to catch up with good friends and gig veterans Mike Harrison and Simon Pattinson. Anyway it was one of the north east’s if the UK’s finest bands Avalanche Party that brought me out on a damp March night. In fact this was the sixth time I have seen them. But more of them later. The show kicked off with Moriacana who in my experience are possibly one of the loudest two piece bands I have ever seen. But this very talented drummer and guitarist/ vocalist aren’t just all about loudness. The noise that they make is grungy heaven. I am sure that this York band will be compared with the likes of ..And The Hangnails, Royal Blood and other similarly set up two pieces, however while that is all well and good it should be noted that Moriacana also bring their own uniqueness to the party.

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Next up was the rather interestingly named Unqualified Nurse Band all the way from Derby. They can do punk, they can do heavy, they can do grunge, they can do quiet loud quiet (à la Pixies) and they can even do some slowed down more intimate moments. Actually is there much that they can’t do? I don’t know, they certainly gave us a pulsing and thrilling set which was mildly reminiscent of the magnificent Biffy Clyro. I bought their EP and I have been playing it in the car today. Definitely a band to watch out for. The third band to take the stage were one of York’s finest young bands, the Black Lagoons. I have seen them once before just over a year ago and they were damned good then. Are they still damned good? Actually no they’re not ………… they are even better than damned good! they play a fuzzy, swampy and at times proggy take on garage rock. They do it with style and stage presence. The drummer sounds like a young John Bonham and I can only imagine that the Black Lagoons will continue to grow. Being local they also brought along quite a sizeable fan base. It was a shame that some of them left before the headliners.

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Actually if you’re a fan of the Black Lagoons then I am sure that you do or will love the head honchos from tonight’s gig. Yes it was a triumphant return to York for the mighty, majestic and magnificent machine that is Avalanche Party. Jordan Bell stalks the stage like Jim Morrison with a mastery of that menacing, hypnotic stare. His vocals ooze classy and classic rock be it psychedelic, punk or anything in between. The bedrock of the band is the awesome rhythm section of Joe Bell and his thunderous bass and Kane Waterfield who pounds his kit to death every set. Overlay that with the sublime and psychy lead guitar of Jared Thorpe and let’s not forget some excellent sweeping keyboard sounds from Glen Adkins. It was yet another stunning set from a great band who I first saw back in August 2014. My favourite songs of the night were “Money” and “Let’s Get Together”. With an appearance at Leeds and Reading festivals last year I feel sure that Avalanche Party have the potential to really make it big. If you haven’t seen Avalanche Party yet then where the bloody hell have you been? Get out from under that stone and seek them out, you will not be disappointed!

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Public Service Announcement – the Avalanche Party pictures were taken on my phone, all the other pictures and videos are courtesy of that wonderful t’interweb!

 

The Tuts – Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Wednesday 21st September 2016 September 23, 2016


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I believe this is the fifth time that I have seen the magnificent Tuts play live since that first time supporting Kate Nash back in April 2013. They get so much better every time, but enough about them for a moment because this show at the delightful Wharf Chambers venue in Leeds also boasted a couple of excellent support acts. First on stage where Milk Crimes, a brilliantly gifted band who I first encountered when they supported Colour Me Wednesday at the Fulford Arms in York earlier this year. They are part Bis, part Buzzcocks and part Pixies. But the overwhelming majority of their parts are pure and original Milk Crimes. A great band with some great tunes and frankly any band with a song entitled “Hail Satan” is alright with me!

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Crywank were next as they brought their bottled madness to Leeds. What kind of genre are they? Who knows? Who cares? The answer to both of those questions is probably no and it really doesn’t matter for Crywank are a stunningly eclectic and talented combo. They are so out there and just utterly fucking brilliant. Actually I might even describe them as Zappa-esque. Drums and an acoustic guitar with songs that are either nonsense lyrics or wonderful vignettes of everyday life. They made an offer that I don’t recall ever hearing from another band; give us some weed an we’ll give you an album. Now that is a good deal, but where the hell did I put my stash?

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Now it was time for the main event, the Tuts who were by now close to half way through a headline UK tour in support of their stunning first album ‘Update Your Brain’. That album is getting some great reviews; 9 out of 10 from Vive Le Rock Magazine, click here for my review of the album. They opened with the rousing put down of sexism in the music industry “Tut Tut Tut”. The first single from the album, “Let Go Of The Past” had the capacity crowd leaping and bouncing all the way through. The song that has become something of a Tuts standard, “Dump Your Boyfriend” rocked Wharf Chambers to its foundations helped along by a crowd that seemed to know the words to all the songs. As Nad Tut remarked later in the set this was a really special moment, having the crowd singing back to you and I most certainly agree.

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The Tuts remain a DIY band and let’s face it it’s hard to get more ‘punk’ than that. They have no label and no manager, although briefly last year they did have a manager. He didn’t last long as his glory days were so far in the past that all his ‘key’ music contacts were probably dead by 1982 and that is kind of what the magnificent “1982” is all about. The band gave us a choice of cover songs; the Clash‘s “Rudie Can’t Fail” or the Spice GirlsWannabe“. It was a landslide win for “Wannabe” and I must confess it got my vote too. Nad Tut, Hat Tut and Bev Tut evoke the spirit of girl power far more strongly than Scary and the gang. On top of that their powerful version of the Spice Girls first hit is loud and great fun. There was the now obligatory foray into the audience from Nadia and Harriet which the crowd lapped up. They played a rollicking version of my current favourite Tuts song, “Give Us Something Worth Voting For” too. But in what seemed like a fleeting moment their set ended with the fabulous “Back Up”. The Tuts are a band that for me are really on the cusp of major success and I hope they get there. They have talent, intelligence, principles and they know how to win an audience. There are still a few opportunities left to see them on this tour and if you can’t make it to any of those dates then get off your arse and start updating your brain by buying their album.

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Me and the magnificent Tuts

Now for one of those pesky public service announcements. All the photos in this post were taken on my cheap little mobile phone camera. Meanwhile the videos are all courtesy of YouTube.

 

Colour Me Wednesday – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 3rd April 2016 April 13, 2016


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Clearly I have been a bit tardy in writing and posting this review. However that is by no means a reflection of the quality on show that night. All in all it was a tremendous gig with some support that was often different, challenging and thought-provoking (in a good way) and very talented. All of this was capped by a stunning and magnificent set from the mighty Colour Me Wednesday. But more of them later. Before I begin the review I would like to say a massive thank you to Henry Raby who was the main man and organiser behind this excellent evening of entertainment.

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First up was a duo of angry poets Jaz Millar and Luca Fallon, well to be more reasonable poets who gave wonderful voice to their anger in their cyphers and rhymes. I particularly enjoyed the piece on why feminists are angry and the poem about punk and how it was failing to live up to its original ethos and credentials.

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Junk were the first band to take the stage. How the bloody hell can two people make so much incredible noise? Let me tell you Junk would enhance any stage that they took to. Festival organisers if you’re reading this stop farting around get off your backside and book this wonderful band.

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Almost like a classy restaurants use of the mouse bouche we were treated to an ear resting moment as another poet took the stage. Hannah Davies is her name and she presents her wonderful poetry with passion and aplomb. The poem about how small boys keep so much crap in their pockets not only took me way, way back to my childhood but also made it abundantly clear how much wonderful mother love Hannah has for her son. Hannah you need to have you work published in book form!

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What the hell is a Milk Crime? It sounds rather Orwellian doesn’t it? But that would be moloko. Anyway Milk Crimes are an excellent punk band who certainly appear to live by their punk ways and they also know their punk roots and history, which was well evidenced by their excellent Buzzcocks cover. I would definitely pay to see Milk Crimes again.

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Finally it is the turn, all the way from south of Watford (Uxbridge to be precise) of the stunning, punky, poetic, smart, lyrical and with political and world views that many people could learn from, Ladies, Gentlemen, Humans, Aliens and anyone else I bring you COLOUR ME WEDNESDAY! Any band that despises the Tories as much as I do is definitely more than fine in my book (or indeed my blog). They played a short set which showcased some tracks from their new EP and some classic songs from their increasing repertoire. As usual there was some great between song banter covering everything from the type of herbal tea that Jen drinks to the desperate need for both a poo and a wee that lead to the Colour Me Wednesday Mobile (a.k.a the van) having to stop at Yorkshire’s equivalent of the town in the film ‘Deliverance’ en-route to the gig. They closed the show with a storming run through of my favourite Colour Me Wednesday song, “Purge Your Inner Tory”. Just to finish things off for the evening I was able to listen to the incredibly well put together four track EP in the car on the way home. DIY is in this band’s blood as every copy of the EP has been lovingly hand packaged by the band and their team at DoveTown. If you haven’t seen or heard Colour Me Wednesday yet then I suggest you get out from under the rock you’ve been living under and acquaint yourself with them. I will be at three festivals this year; Apollo (York), Latitude and Leeds, will someone please book this band for one of those!

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And finally here is one of those pesky public service announcements. None of the pictures or videos in this post were taken or filmed by me. They were all obtained via Google and YouTubew

 

 
Lauren Abigail

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